What we do

CSO Assessment

Civil society assessment is a process of understanding and analysing the context and organisational dimensions of CSOs based on a set of principles, indicators, and other information. Such assessments may be initiated by various actors including governments departments, government agencies, donors, private sector, civil society networks or organisations themselves.

This pillar forms part of the CSO Development Programme - Click here for more detail

Civil society organisations assessments are of a general nature – assessing the contexts and spaces for civil society in relation to the state and market – or they can be specific, focusing on a particular segment of civil society.

In this guide, we consider two main categories of civil society assessment:

  • An assessment of the civil society sector as a whole; and
  • An assessment of an individual CSO. This can be either an external assessment, conducted by NDA and other agencies or a self-assessment by the CSOs themselves.

The outcomes o these assessments approaches should provide the intervention with specific information that can assist CSOs to develop and provide better services to communities. This framework and guide focuses on methods to assess the organisational dimensions of CSOs and their environment more broadly.

The purpose of civil society assessments can vary depending on the interests and context of those who are implementing them. For example, local CSOs could use self-assessment to improve their capacities to strengthen their organisational abilities, resource requirements to sustain and expand their services or credibility in the eyes of the constituencies they are serving.